Friday, April 2, 2010

Cannibal Corpse - Centuries of Torment

9/10

NOTE: The following was a review I wrote over a year ago for the site metal-jerks.com. I decided to leave it as is and post it here.

To celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary, Metal Blade Records has released this 3-disc retrospective DVD chronicling the history of Cannibal Corpse, and it is excellent. I’m normally not that interested in music-related DVDs, but this one is packed with interesting information and hilarious footage. Disc 1 contains a three-hour documentary on the band’s history that features all Cannibal Corpse members past and present (except founding guitarist Bob Rusay, who was apparently impossible to track down). There’s scarcely a wasted moment on this disc; my favorite parts were old footage of band members screwing around with a camera and how lead singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher gave most of his interviews in front of a bookcase full of action figures that were still in their boxes. I knew he was nerdy, but not that nerdy! I also liked getting to see people associated with the band who I previously only knew by reputation; cover artist Vince Locke looks nothing like you’d expect someone who drew such gory images to look like.

Disc 2 is a set of Cannibal Corpse performances from all eras of the band (although the Barnes era is underrepresented). I liked this disc, but it was my least favorite of the three; I’ve never really cared that much for live DVDs. The second disc also contains all of the band’s videos. Disc 3 contains a bunch of themed collections of footage that didn’t make it into the first disc. My favorites among these were “Sickening Metalocalypse,” which covers Fisher’s recurring role on the Adult Swim show; “Every Ban Broken,” which discusses the censorship problems that the band has faced in countries like Germany and New Zealand, and “Covered With Ink,” which shows how die-hard Corpse fans have gotten images from the band’s notoriously gruesome album covers tattooed on them.

I only have one major complaint about this DVD set- the sound just isn’t loud enough! I watched this on my laptop, and even with the volume turned all the way up, it was noticeably less loud than actual Cannibal Corpse songs being played on iTunes on the same laptop. You’d think that a DVD about a band like CC would be as loud as possible. But despite that, I heartily recommend this DVD set. It’s highly entertaining, reasonably priced (at just $25 US), and has plenty of material (well over seven hours). I give it five out of five skinless, rotting cadavers.

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